Application of Morphometrics as a Predictor for Survival in Patients with Prostate Cancer Metastasis to the Spine

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World Neurosurg


BACKGROUND: Surgery for spinal metastases can improve survival but has high morbidity that can potentially diminish benefits. New objective methods of predicting overall survival would be beneficial for surgical decision making. Morphometrics quantifies patient frailty and has been successfully used to predict overall survival in patients with lung cancer spinal metastases. This study evaluated whether morphometrics can predict survival in patients with prostate cancer spinal metastases.

METHODS: Using a retrospective registry of patients with spinal metastases who underwent stereotactic body radiation therapy, we identified patients with primary prostate cancer. Morphometric measurements of the psoas muscle were taken from most recent lumbar spine computed tomography. Patients were stratified into lowest, middle, and highest tertiles based on psoas muscle area. Primary outcome measure was overall survival from the date of computed tomography scan.

RESULTS: We identified 92 patients. Median survival for all patients was 124 days (95% confidence interval, 98-197 days). Patients in the smallest third for average psoas size had significantly shorter survival compared with patients in the largest third: 117 days versus 302 days (hazard ratio 2.42; 95% confidence interval, 1.32-4.43; P = 0.004). Patients in the middle third for average psoas size also had shorter survival compared with patients in the largest third: 113 days versus 302 days (hazard ratio 2.31; 95% confidence interval, 1.25-4.25; P = 0.007).

CONCLUSIONS: In patients with prostate cancer spinal metastases, morphometric analysis of psoas muscle size can identify patients at risk for shorter survival. This technique can aid in surgical decision making by weighing expected survival and fitness versus potential morbidity of intervention.

Medical Subject Headings

Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Cohort Studies; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Predictive Value of Tests; Prostatic Neoplasms; Psoas Muscles; Registries; Retrospective Studies; Spinal Neoplasms; Survival Rate

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